Bringing attention to men’s health is more important than ever in 2020
Movember is an annual event which involves the growing of moustaches to raise awareness around issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's suicide. It has funded more than 1,250 men's health projects around the world since 2003.
In light of the coronavirus crisis, however, the campaign has arguably taken on even greater meaning than ever in 2020.
"We are only now beginning to see how Covid-19 has impacted people in terms of not getting early diagnosis and treatment for symptoms of other illnesses such as cancer," says Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health & Protection.
The lockdown has also had a significant effect on mental health. Men often try to battle through things on their own.
"With so many of us currently working from home, employers need to be more vigilant than ever in keeping an eye on employees' health and wellbeing. Implementing a regular health screening programme, and communicating any health and wellbeing benefits available, make it harder for someone to fall between the gaps. We all need someone there to look out for us at some point in our lives, and that's particularly the case now."
Figures show that men die on average six times earlier than women and often the reasons behind it can be prevented, while men accounted for around three-quarters of suicide deaths registered last year.
The most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, prostate cancer, for example, often has no symptoms at all in its early and most treatable stages. Movember urges men to take part in a health screening programme, which includes a PSA test for men in higher risk age groups.
Testicular cancer, meanwhile, is most often detected through self-examinations and 91% survive it for 10 years or more.
Towergate Health & Protection's Brett Hill sees the role of employers and the use of national awareness campaigns such as Movember as crucial to encourage and support male employees to take action.
They are also a way for employers to show that men's health issues matter to them and to create a feeling of community and support in the workplace. "Particularly this year, communicating health and wellbeing benefits for a workforce is more challenging, but Movember provides the perfect opportunity to encourage men to look after themselves and remind them of any benefits that are available to support them," says Hill.
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